Cushioning the puck when you catch a pass is a good way to prevent the puck from bouncing off the blade of your stick. In this lesson we will practice three ways to cushion the pass

4 Tips For Success

  1. Simply twisting the wrist to open the blade a little is sometimes enough movement to give the puck a little bit of a cushion when catching a pass

  2. To provide more of a cushion the top and bottom hands can be used. Start with the top hand behind the bottom hand. As the puck comes towards the puck push the top hand out, this moves the blade back and cushions the puck.

  3. Another method to cushion the puck is to use the elbows. Push both hands out and towards the puck carrier. When the pass comes pull both hands in and towards the body while catching the puck

  4. We can use the same principles when catching a pass from the left or right. Present your stick towards the puck carrier, and as the pass comes towards you, move the blade away from the puck a little to catch the pass in motion. We will cover this more in future lessons

3 Common Mistakes

  1. Some players will reach for the pass. If you’re moving your blade towards the puck, while it’s coming towards your blade, you’re creating a collision course. It can be done (with the right blade angle) but it just makes things trickier

  2. Timing is important for a good pass. You may be doing the right thing, but at the wrong time. Keep on focusing on the fundamentals and with practice your timing and fine movements will improve.

  3. If you are simply putting your blade where you want the puck, you aren’t giving any room to cushion the puck. When showing your blade give yourself a few inches or a foot to catch the puck so it ends up in a comfortable area.

What To Practice

  1. Practice with a friend or use a pass rebounder, or a ball and a wall to get those reps in

  2. Start by using just the wrists to move the blade and cushion the pass.

  3. Now try pointing the blade in the direction the pass is coming from, then quickly use the hands to pull the blade back (push the top hand out) and open it as the puck impacts the blade.

  4. The arms can also be used to cushion the puck. Work on pushing both hands out, then pull them back as the puck comes towards the blade.

  5. Practice catching a pass while it comes across your body. Move your blade to your forehand side, and as the puck comes towards you move your blade across your body so you catch the puck as your blade is moving.